Approaching the box, you gently settle that little white ball of rubber and resin onto its appointed tee. Following through, the head of your driver hits the ball squarely, so perfectly that you barely feel the impact. Stepping up to the three-point line, you begin to square your shoulders and rise up for the release. The liquidly natural movement flows through you as the ball arcs down into the net, gliding through the rim. Settling into the batter’s box, you adjust the grip of your bat while shooting a determined glare at the pitcher. The ball comes, and you connect perfectly as your bat rotates around over the plate, seamlessly harnessing the power of your swing as it rockets over the fence.
We all know these feelings, and in many cases these moments of sports bliss are why we play the game in the first place. Hitting the sweet spot lets you gloat to your buddies on the course, power point to the opposing bench, or round the bases with a smug satisfaction that says, “Yeah, I’ve been here before.”
Just as in athletics, there is a spectrum of confidence that we all display, and getting in touch with your sweet spot is the key to killing it in the college game. Too confident, and you’ll come off as a pretentiously self-appointed douche. Not confident enough and you’re sitting alone back in the dorm wondering why Alice down the hall won’t touch your junk despite the only meaningful contact you’ve had all year is when you tried to force eye contact while passing each other on the stairs.
It’s the difference between the surprise grind on an unknowing random at the club and asking the blonde alternating her eyes between you and the floor if she’d like to dance. It’s the difference between having to become fraternity Chaplain and being voted chapter President. Simply put, it’s the difference between a too-firm handshake and a limp fish.
People respond to the sweet spot of confidence. When freshmen start coming to the house looking to get a bid, you’re not going to remember the kid who posted against the wall like a self-help poster for social contact, but you will definitely recall that conversation with the guy who asked about the logistics of throwing a Lingerave in the basement. You’ll take a pass on the guy handing out ass slaps like he’s already one of the gang, but the kid casually asking if you’d like another beer can stay.
It’s not easy to hit the sweet spot of confidence. It takes practice like any good thing usually does. I’m still working out the finesse of knowing when I got something on lock and when I need to cool my jets. But I can guarantee that college and life will flow much more smoothly with a solid dose of deserved self-assuredness.
Much of my confidence came from the brotherhood of being in a fraternity. Knowing that I had earned the privilege of belonging to this group of men left me free to conquer other social venues. If this elite group of brothers thinks that I’m the shit, then I should be able to handle this room of girls just fine. And the benefits aren’t purely social.
I almost exclusively never did any meaningful work during a group project during my four years of undergrad. And that’s not just because I was a lazy asswipe. It’s because on the first day of the project, I made a sweet deal that most people almost always accepted. I agreed to do all of the presenting and public speaking if the other group members simply gave me the material to present. Almost always, the GDI wimps in my group accepted because they “hated presenting” the most. So I took it. I handled it, presented confidently, and never had to do any of the work. Easiest group projects of all time. Hell, I was drunk for most of it. It was great.
The point here is this: When you’re striving to be the best at something — be that sport or life — you always know when you hit the sweet spot, ride the wave, and crush the ball right down the middle of the beautiful green fairway. Hit that spot, and hit it hard. You’ll thank me later..